“Chargers–Why Is It This Way”
NFL Free Agency is upon us and a ton of name players are being dumped on the open market.
Included are a bunch of players whose baggage has a Chargers name tag on it.
Coming off a football season in which they finished with a red-hot rookie QB in Justin Herbert and a swell of hope for the future, the Chargers hired a whole new coaching staff.
On came Rams Defensive Coordinator Brandon Staley and a whole cadre of young assistants. He comes with great credentials, as one NFL exec told me “Rhodes Scholar guy in football knowledge”
And with all that momentum, we get this in the opening days of free agency.
The Chargers torch their roster letting at least 7-starters get onto the open market, and we know one thing for sure. If you don’t re-sign your guys before the window opens, the price will surely go up when free agency starts.
The baggage on the free agent curb at this hour includes:
..TE-Hunter Henry-former #1 pick, with (103R-21TD) in his career. They franchise tagged him last year in a breakout season, now they don’t want to pay him upper echelon money to keep him.
..OT-Sam Levi, a starter on both sides, a scrapper, and probably more consistent than any other lineman.
..OG-Forrest Lamp, who played a ton of snaps after two years of injuries..was efficient if not dominant. If not him, then who.
..OC-Dan Feeney, had to play in the middle after the season ending surgery to teammate Mike Pouncey..might be a better guard than center, but now he is on open market.
..CB-Michael Davis..it took a long time and injury time to get him in the lineup…very good athlete and needs more time to grow, but it might be somewhere else.
..DE-Melvin Ingram..season wiped out by injuries, wound up with no sacks, and production has slipped, but in a new defense, maybe he rallies back-but not keeping him
..LB-Denzel Perryman..warrior linebacker, beset by lots nagging injuries-bit undersized but leaves it all on the field.
..WR-Mike Williams..big body-big play guy who was very productive when healthy and when used right…Don’t know how you let him go on the open market considering how rugged a player he is.
You purge your roster of all these productive guys, what are you left with? Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Austin Eckeler, Joey Bosa and Derwin James.
How you going to compete in the NFL with just that? This isn’t 8-man football.
This team opens free agency with only 23M-cap space, and you wonder how that is possible with all the low paid young players they have on their roster.
The Chargers history of dealing with its star players is horrid. Recalling history of holdouts..from Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates to Joey Rosa. Games missed, playoff chances damaged.
Holdouts, trades of veterans, and more misses than hits in free agency and trades. The latest being what they paid and did not get out of Bryan Bulaga and Trei Turner.
It’s always a struggle. Whereas Jerry Jones does what he does with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper, we get this methodology of business from Team Spanos, cap guy Ed McGuire, and GM-Tom Telesco.
They had a whole season to try and lock down some of their key guys, and they didn’t do it again. If many of these guys leave, what kind of team are they going to have around the kid quarterback?
To borrow a baseball phrase, the media in Brooklyn used to call Branch Rickey by a mean spirited name. At least he built a winner in St-Louis, with the Dodgers, and the lowly Pirates.
But for the Chargers, not the case. Team Spanos has 14-winning seasons in 36-years of ownership.
Maybe the Rickey nickname should be transferred to the West Coast and planted in the new Stadium in Inglewood.
Why is it this way?